Pier 15, South Harbor, City of Manila
June 12, 2022

As the nation commemorated the 124th Philippine Independence Day, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte graced the Commissioning of Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Melchora Aquino – the Multi-Role Response Vessel (MRRV) 9702 of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) – at Pier 15, South Harbor in the City of Manila.

The ceremony pushed through amid heavy downpour that prompted the Commander-in-Chief to order the officers and crew of BRP Melchora Aquino to retreat from their posts while the program was ongoing to prevent them from getting soaked in the rain.

“Let me thank the Department of Transportation for a job well done,” President Duterte expressed in his speech. “We have gone a long way to improve . . . So far the [Philippine] Coast Guard has an excellent record and participation even [during the armed] struggle [in] Mindanao. You have helped the government a lot [in] maintaining its independence and integrity as a Republic. So, bilib ako sa inyo,” he continued.

The President also emphasized that “At no other time that the [Philippine] Coast Guard [ay] binigyan ng importansya.” He added that he is indeed ‘very impressed’ with the accomplishments of the PCG in general.

The Chief Executive read the Commission Order before the MRRV 9702 Commanding Officer and granted permission to the Commanding Officer and first watch or sentinel ‘to set the watch’ that will commence BRP Melchora Aquino’s official duty as a commissioned vessel. He also rendered a salute to acknowledge the said vessel.

Named after Melchora Aquino, popularly known as ‘Tandang Sora’ and Mother of Katipunan, the MRRV 9702 is one of the two largest white ships acquired by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for the Philippine Coast Guard through its Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project (MSCIP) Phase 2. It is ready to conduct sustained maritime patrols in the country’s maritime jurisdictions, including the West Philippine Sea and Philippine Rise.

Similar with BRP Teresa Magbanua (MRRV 9701), the MRRV 9702 is modeled after the Japan Coast Guard’s Kunigami-class vessel that has a maximum speed of not less than 24 nautical miles per hour and endurance of not less than 4,000 nautical miles.

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